PAK v NZ 2018: We'll have to be "precise and clear" against Yasir, says Craig McMillan

The series decider at Abu Dhabi begins from Monday, December 3.

Yasir Shah picked up 14 wickets in the second Test against New Zealand | Getty

Enamoured by his magnificent performance in the second Test at Dubai, New Zealand batting coach Craig McMillan has urged the visitors to be "precise and clear" with their approach while facing the affable Yasir Shah.

The fantastic leg-spinner simply ran through the Kane Williamson led side and returned with astonishing match-figures of 14/184 in Pakistan's series-levelling innings & 16 runs victory.

It is the beautiful drift away from the right-handers and that classical dip on the surface that stood out from Yasir, who now has taken 195 Test wickets from just 32 games at the highest level.

"From a batting point of view you just have to be so precise and clear with your batting plan, especially against Yasir Shah who was outstanding," McMillan said, "He's going to test you early on, he's going to test that defence, so your defence has to be so tight, has to be so spot on, because if you make a mistake it's pretty vital over here."

"And we saw, certainly in that second innings, some improvement, from the likes of Taylor and Nicholls and Latham, who batted a long time out there and showed what was possible."

"It didn't happen in the first innings - it would have been a very different Test match if it had happened - but the guys are learning. We need to learn a bit quicker and get it right, I guess, in that first innings of the third Test," he stressed.

McMillan lavished huge praise on Yasir, as he compared that performance to have beheld some of great Shane Warne's glimpse within, and further said, "Right up there, in terms of quality. The drop and the drift that he was able to generate, especially in that first innings, in that spell, was as good as I've seen, and that was one of the things that made Shane Warne so difficult to face, that drift, and we saw that with a couple of dismissals that he bowled - the likes of the Taylor dismissal, that late drop and drift."

"It just takes the bat out of line, so you have to take your hat off to him and say that it was an exceptional bowling spell. I think Mickey Arthur, the Pakistan coach, labelled it one of the best spells of legspin bowling that he'd seen, so that makes it even more challenging for us, but the great thing was we saw guys adapt and get better in that second innings, and they trusted those plans, and they were able to put them into practice for a period of time - we just need to do it for longer," he signed off.

Following their dramatic 4-run loss at Abu Dhabi, with a dominating innings & 16 runs victory in Dubai, Pakistan levelled the series, 1-1.

The battle now moves back to Abu Dhabi for the all-important series decider beginning Monday, December 3.

(Inputs from ESPNcricinfo)


By Kashish Chadha - 29 Nov, 2018

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